Winter is right around the corner...Questions.
 
 

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Winter is right around the corner...Questions.

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        08-03-2011, 05:24 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Question Winter is right around the corner...Questions.

    Hello.

    I'm new here, so I hope this is the right section... I have a few questions about what you do differently with your horses- summer vs. winter.

    At the end of last winter we got Poco, so I didn't have to deal with blankets or anything, plus we had stalls back then. Now we are in the process of reconstructing barns(Great time planning, huh?), so Poco has been on full turnout throughout the spring and summer. She was never stalled with her previous owners, but during the winter I always felt more comfertable with the horses being in, during snow and bad storms that come with the season.

    Anyways. Since the horses were stalled a lot during the winter, in the warmth, I've never had to use blankets, because we never really thought they were nessecary. I HAVE them, just never used them.

    1. How often do you keep blankets on your horse during the winter? Just during turnout?

    2. How on earth do you keep the horses water unfrozen? Every morning I'd go out, crush it up, put more in, and a few hours later it's frozen again!

    Also, does your horses diet change? Poco gets turned out where she can graze for a little while each day, along with hay and feed, and the usual. Of course in the winter, theres no grazing.

    Last winter, we did turn the horses out some, because I didn't want them stalled all that time. Someone said I was a horrible owner, because there was nothing on my horses legs? What?! I guess I missed that lesson. Maybe they were refering to horses legs getting cold? Uh. Is there some kind of horse-leg-warmers that I don't know about here...And when riding, do you use differnt tack? I've seen people do this.

    Any other tips would be great. This winter is different because they cannot be stalled. Of course there are a few sheds for shelters spread out the the pastures. But I don't want them to be uncomfertable in the cold weather, and I want to start preparing now.

    What do you do differently in the winter than summer? I know body heat and yada yada keeps them warm, but still. I'm that crazy horse owner who wants everything to be perfect. Lol, I probably sound like an idiot. I'm not, promise. I just don't know what to do with them being on full turnout. Who elses horses are?

    Thanks!
    Vanessa
         
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        08-03-2011, 07:35 PM
      #2
    Trained
    From the Paint mares, also in NC (out 24x7)...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hooves    
    1. How often do you keep blankets on your horse during the winter? Just during turnout?
    Never (don't own any). The only time they are really cold is when it's raining and around freezing. If it's going to be like that for days, we put waterproof rain sheets on them. They keep them dry and protect them from the wind, and hold their body heat. If it's not raining, they're fine regardless of how cold it is....they just eat more.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hooves    
    2. How on earth do you keep the horses water unfrozen? Every morning I'd go out, crush it up, put more in, and a few hours later it's frozen again!
    We just break it in the morning and evening and remove any really large pieces of thick ice. I know lots of folks worry about this, but our mares are good at punching holes in the ice all by themselves and have never had a problem getting a drink.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hooves    
    Also, does your horses diet change?
    Except for not having grass in the pasture, no. Our mares have a round bale available to them all year round. Of course, a round bale in the dead of winter only lasts a week instead of three weeks in the summer.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hooves    
    And when riding, do you use differnt tack? I've seen people do this.
    No changes in tack for the mares, but I certainly do dress differently.
         
        08-03-2011, 07:44 PM
      #3
    Trained
    Get out of here

    I absolutely, completely, totally refuse to even think about the W word yet. We have only just started summer properly so I'm putting my fingers in my ears, closing my eyes and humming loudly so I can't get scared by the W word yet.
         
        08-03-2011, 07:50 PM
      #4
    Showing
    How often do you keep blankets on your horse during the winter? Just during turnout?

    I don't tend to use blankets, even on my supposedly 'delicate' and 'sensitive' TB. Mother Nature gave horses the ability to grow a winter coat, and that's the best insulation on earth.

    How on earth do you keep the horses water unfrozen? Every morning I'd go out, crush it up, put more in, and a few hours later it's frozen again!

    Either buy a trough heater, or add hot water to the existing water in the trough. Adding cold water insures that it will freeze faster than when you add hot.

    Also, does your horses diet change?

    My boys get more hay in the winter than summer, and they get beet pulp added to their grain rations.

    Someone said I was a horrible owner, because there was nothing on my horses legs? What?!

    'Someone' sounds like a kook.

    And when riding, do you use differnt tack?

    Why would I use different tack? The only thing different in the winter is that I don't use fly bonnets, because there aren't any flies around.

    Of course there are a few sheds for shelters spread out the the pastures.

    Run-in sheds are sufficient protection from the weather.

    My horses are out 24/7/365, unless the weather's windy, cold and wet. Cold, windy and dry, they're out. Wet, windy and warm, they're out.
         
        08-03-2011, 10:28 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Thanks everyone!

    Well all of the winter stuff is for sale at my local tack shop right now, so that's kind of why I started thinking about it. It's already August, by november-ish it start's getting chilly. Well looks like I don't have much to worry about. I think I might invest in a rain sheet, for that reason.
         
        08-03-2011, 10:32 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    We don't blanket. Our horses are on 24/7 turnout with access to a run-in stall and have always grown an ample coat to keep themselves comfortable in the winter.
    We use a tank de-icer. I have tried a few different types and am most pleased with the floating style
    We increase the hay as needed, also our TB gets increased rations if/when she starts to slip weight
    We use the same tack year round.
         
        08-03-2011, 10:50 PM
      #7
    Trained
    If the horses are coming into a warm barn at night they need to be blanketed during the day. Depending on the weather you will need anything from 200 to 550 g of fill total for cold days. Usually a light weight 100-150g blanket and a mid to heavy weight 250-400g blanket, both waterproof will do you through fall and winter and spring.
    For the water, many horses will not drink ice cold water and can colic from dehydration, for this reason I always like to use a trough heater.
    Horses should also get lots of hay on the really cold days. Below minus 30 or 40 I'll feed basically free choice hay. If they are having trouble keeping weight then I feed beet pulp and or stabilized rice bran to their regular rations.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        08-03-2011, 11:03 PM
      #8
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
    How on earth do you keep the horses water unfrozen? Every morning I'd go out, crush it up, put more in, and a few hours later it's frozen again!

    Either buy a trough heater, or add hot water to the existing water in the trough. Adding cold water insures that it will freeze faster than when you add hot.
    Actually, hot water freezes faster than cold, due to the Mpemba effect!
    Can hot water freeze faster than cold water?

    Fun fact for ya!

    I would just invest is tank heaters though; they're relitively inexpensive and totes worth it!!
         
        08-03-2011, 11:55 PM
      #9
    Banned
    My two horses have an entire blanket wardrobe.

    I'm serious!


    I'm one of the freaks that do blanket their horses! Which, in the past, usually gets the non blanketers in an uproar... I havent yet been able to figure out why they care as they aren't paying for the blankets.... so, I just shrug it off.

    Epona has one burgundy rain sheet, one navy blue medium weight blanket, one navy blue fleece, one purple cotton stable sheet.

    Beau has one purple rain sheet, one burgundy rain sheet, one red rain sheet, one olive green and black medium weight blanket, and one zebra print heavy weight blanket.

    We moved them wayyyyy up in the mountains to a private residence last winter....it's cold up there in the winter, and windy....but this summer living in the mountains has been a blessing. It is SOOO much cooler up there, and the wind we used to curse in the winter...is now a blessing.
         
        08-04-2011, 12:01 AM
      #10
    Foal
    My farm does not have a run in shed. Should I invest in blankets or rain sheets when it snows?
         

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